It’s barely 150 years since New York was a  bustling city of immigrants from across the world.

But it seems that the skyline that once  greeted visitors is virtually unrecognisable from the same scene in  1876.

All that remains is the iconic Brooklyn  Bridge which was just being built to connect two districts of the Big Apple.

The changes are shown in a startling  composite picture of the skyline over the decades, starting with 1876, going  into 1932 and 1988 and finishing in 2013.

The first grainy black and white image,  published online by Urban Peek,  shows the bustling city with ships lining the dock yards in Downtown  Manhattan.

Construction of Brooklyn Bridge – then the world’s biggest  suspension bridge – had only just begun and only the towers on the Manhattan  side of New York were in place.

The tallest building in the city appears to  be a church spire close to Tribeca. But with the industrial revolution bringing  great wealth to the city it was soon to be transformed. Over the next 60 years  dozens of imposing building shot up across New York – including the Empire State  Building which was the tallest in the world when it was built on Fifth Avenue in  1931.

Just behind the Empire State Building is The  Chrysler Building, which was built on the East Side of Manhattan in 1930. By now  the Brooklyn Bridge had been completed and a second crossing, the Manhattan  Bridge, had been finished a short distance away.

Despite the Great Depression ravaging many of the city’s  residents throughout the 1930s, New York soon recovered. The scene in the next  image taken in 1988 shows how the city had been transformed from a hub of  industry to the financial capital of the U.S.

Gone are the ship yards once full of dockers  and trawlers and in their place are are clean-cut avenues lined with restaurants  and cafes. More skyscrapers have been built, and the buildings in the financial  district and down to Battery Park now tower along the bay like  fortresses.

Most noticeable though are the twin towers of  the World Trade Centre now dwarfing the other buildings in the city. A brief  look at the latest picture from 2013 shows a gap where they once stood. In its  place is Freedom Tower, commemorating the victims of the 9/11 terrorist  attacks.

Despite a quarter of a century passing  between 1988 and 2013, the structural changes to the city’s skylines are not as  dramatic as in earlier years.

A handful of new towers have been built and  more buildings have appeared to in the right hand corner of the latest image,  stretching further north in Manhattan.



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